Conserve or Die

Let me put forward two trivia -one which we all know and the other which we know but chose to ignore for our own benefits.


TRIVIA 1: Man is a social animal. A man cannot live alone. He has a basic need to socialise with other human beings.


TRIVIA 2: Man is the most selfish creature present on earth. We humans tend to focus only on our needs and secure it by any means.


The second trivia may be very shocking to many of us and some of us might as well think contrary to it, but that does not change the fact.


The Earth is a wonderful creation of the universe and probably the most unique as well. There exists no planet which supports such a humongous number and variety of life form. The conditions here have been ideal to support life in all forms. But not anymore! For man has gradually and conveniently forgotten the fact that it is the Earth which supports him and not the other way round. In fact man with his advancement and evolution has started thinking himself as the supreme creator. What man forgets is, it still has little control over nature. Man might have build dams on rivers but still cannot control floods everywhere. Man might have built the strongest of structures but these are not strong enough to survive a hurricane. Man is still vulnerable to nature’s fury and nature has proved this beyond doubt, time and again.


Since ages man has learnt only to take things from the nature. But it would be wrong to say that he has given back nothing at all. Pollution (in all forms), vast tracts of barren lands, turning rivers into drains- have been man’s gift to nature.


Time and again we have squandered the resources of nature, never understanding the importance of conserving them. There is an old adage which says that one can never understand the importance of a particular object till the time he loses it. One will understand it’s important only when it is not there. The same holds true here as well. Man does not realize the value of natural resources simply because it is plenty in existence now.


With a little foresight one can imagine how the world would be looking 50 years from now. We all know that earth has 3/4th of its surface covered by water. However, only a miniscule fraction of this is usable and drinkable. However, do we ever think of this startling fact while using one of the most precious natural resources! It will not be very late when the earth might as well be transformed into one big desert, if we continue to overlook the aspect of conservation. In future one would find countries fighting for water and our children fighting for survival.


One of the other natural resource that we fail to value is greenery. Seldom do we think before sacrificing a tree for the sake of development. The question we need to ask is which development are we trying to achieve? Are we trying to develop a world which would rely on artificial means to breathe oxygen or are we trying to develop an earth where rain would be a dream. We all need to understand that development which comes by sacrificing these resources is no development at all. It truly does not make sense to develop a concrete jungle, which can hardly return you any favours. It is eerie to even think of a day when man has to literally struggle to catch a glimpse of greenery. Not only does trees help us with greenery but also provides us with other vital resources. It ahs been scientifically proven that the transpiration of trees cools down its surroundings by at least 5-10%. Moreover, trees maintain the water level underground. Are not fresh air and clean water a better index of development than concrete jungles with filthy drains and plumes of smoke?


Non renewable energy sources are at the highest risk of being non-existent in the near future. Wood, petrol, natural gas are used, or rather wasted at random. The most convenient way to alienate oneself from a problem is to ignore it. And we, humans seem to do just that! Petrol, Diesel, Kerosene are all fossil fuels. These fuels are not in continuous production. They take millions of years to be formed. Thus, there is a limited volume of these fuels present in earth. However, seldom do we think about the gloom waiting for us, if we do not use these fuels judiciously. Why can’t we humans, use natural resources in an optimum way? Why can’t we leave our children a bright future? The most recent data show that until and unless there is a check on the rampant use of fuels, the current reserve of these fuels in nature will deplete completely in the next 30 years.


However, it is still not very late to take charge of the situation. We could still stop the worst from happening. What is needed is a little judiciousness in the use of natural resources.


We do not have to undertake Herculean tasks to ensure conservation. Quite true to the proverb Charity begins at home, our efforts of conservation should also start from home. If each one of us individually contribute to the cause, just think of the massive change we would bring.


The least we can do to conserve water is turn on the taps only when it is needed. Instead of using fresh water for watering the plants we should try to use recycled water for it.


Instead of chopping down trees mindlessly for development work, we should try and find alternative ways. However, if there exist no alternatives, we should be pro active enough to plant new trees for each tree which is felled down. This will not only ensure a smooth development but also a fresh future. Children should be taught to value greenery. Educational institutes should take initiatives to encourage their students to plant more and more trees.


Judicious and optimum use of fuel would ensure that the present store lasts much longer. We should learn to turn off the ignition while waiting at the traffic signals. Research shows this would in turn increase your savings on petrol/diesel by as much as 20%. We should try and switch over to using renewable sources of energy viz. solar, wind, etc. These energy sources are not only pollution free but also very cheap to procure. Use of bio-fuels should be encouraged by the concerned authorities.


These small steps once taken, would lead to a better life. We have to be accountable for our actions to ensure a bright present and a prosperous future. For once, let us show our concern and solidarity with the nature before it is too late. The one thought which should always cross our mind is we did not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we just borrowed it from our children!


Souvik Mitra

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